Single Idea 5789

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 7. Chinese Room]

Full Idea

It seems to me now that syntax is not intrinsic to the physics of the system, but is in the eye of the beholder.


Syntax is sentence structure (where 'semantics' is meaning)

Gist of Idea

I now think syntax is not in the physics, but in the eye of the beholder


John Searle (The Mystery of Consciousness [1997], Ch.1)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Mystery of Consciousness' [Granta 1997], p.14

A Reaction

This seems right, in that whether strung beads are a toy or an abacus depends on the user. It doesn't follow that the 'beholder' stands outside the physics. A beholder is another physical system, of a particular type of high complexity.